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Gladstone Public Library unleashes undead into city streets

Citizens of Gladstone — beware! The zombies are coming. The zombies are coming.

On Oct. 30, anyone age 12 and older is encouraged to don zombie attire and makeup, converge on the Gladstone Public Library, 135 E. Dartmouth St., gather into a group and, well ... lurch down Portland Avenue. by: PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - Al Tate, left, finds out the hard way that a lug wrench is not effective against zombies, as personified by Sean Lavadour.Spectators of all ages are welcome to cheer on the hordes of undead.

by: PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - Sean Lavadour, Gladstone Library assistant, wants residents to find their inner zombie and lurch along with him on Oct. 30.The event will begin around 5:30 p.m., and participants should arrive in costume. A limited amount of makeup will be available at the library. Afterward, “light blood and guts and red fruit punch” will be served, said Irene Green, the new library director who is working to upgrade library services for kids.

The movie, “Warm Bodies,” based on the Isaac Marion novel of the same name, will be shown at the library after the zombie walk. Described as a “paranormal romantic comedy,” the PG-13 movie is told from the zombie perspective and is unusual in that “love brings them back to life,” said Sean Lavadour, library assistant.

Why does a library want to host a zombie walk?

Green wants to attract more teens to the library, so she is planning one teen-centric activity per month, and the walk is the event for October.

Green browsed the Internet for ideas and came across other zombie walks, hosted by other libraries around the country, and thought it was a good fit.

“I came from a library system in Maryland, and I know if you want to get teens to come to the library, you need to think outside the box,” she said.

And the timing is right, noted both Green and Lavadour, since a large number of television shows, movies and computer games feature the brain-devouring creatures.

As for proper attire for the zombie walk, Green recommends ripped clothing, while Lavadour pointed out that participants should just “wear street clothes, because that is what you would have been wearing when you were infected.”

He added, “It’s the makeup that makes the zombie.”

Lavadour speaks from experience, since last week he spent nearly four hours in the makeup chair, while a friend created a zombie look for him.

“He threw on layer after layer of makeup, starting with latex and tissue paper. He put a piece of skull on my face and put makeup on that to create a wound, and then he used really thick red gel for the blood — the same thing film companies use,” Lavadour said.

Luckily, the entire eerie “mask” peeled right off in minutes, although there was a certain amount of face washing that followed.

by: PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - After nearly four hours in the make-up chair, library assistant Sean Lavadour is ready to put fear in the hearts of Gladstone residents.Lavadour has a theory about the current fascination with zombies, saying, “People have been preaching the end of the world for years, and we’re kind of morbid. We want to see a zombie apocalypse.”

Wild about books

John Wetten Elementary School students are also reaching their local library in a new way through their “Wild About Books” program, sponsored by the Gladstone Public Library Foundation.

This year’s five second-grade classrooms headed to Gladstone’s library earlier this month for story time and got to pick out a nonfiction animal book to keep after a tour of the library. The children also learned about library cards so they can return to the library and visit with their families.

“Our second graders were very amazed and excited to see all of the different tools and resources that are available to them through the Gladstone Public Library — for free,” said teacher Cathy Pheil. “Students loved the book that they each selected and were able to take home and keep. We all look forward to further collaborations.”

The second-grade curriculum focuses on animals, a topic 7 year olds love. The school year will culminate in a field trip to the Oregon Zoo in spring.

“We wanted to introduce the students to the library in a memorable way,” Green said. “It’s nice that the school is interested in this project. We hope to plan even more partnerships that will benefit Gladstone’s children and support early literacy.”

Aarrrggghhhhh

What: Gladstone’s Zombie Walk

When: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 30

Where: Gather at Gladstone Public Library, 135 E. Dartmouth St.

Details: The walk is for ages 12 and up. Spectators of all ages are welcome. Participants should arrive in costume and makeup.

Extras: After the walk, light refreshments will be served and the movie “Warm Bodies” will be screened at the library.

Contact: For more information, call the library at 503-656-2411.



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